Maroon - June 2006

Maroon was formed in early 1998, the vegan, straightedge five-piece is clearly showing their dedication and no signs of slowing down. After an early MCD, followed by a split EP with Self Conquest, the band released their major introduction to the music world in the form of their first full-length, “Antagonist”.

The band then headlined a European tour and even ventured over to South America and Japan in 2003 in support of the record. It's those initial years of hard work that have caused the band's reputation to spread all over the world, earning them slots at major European festivals, in addition to high-profile shows alongside acts such as Hatebreed, Agnostic Front, Earth Crisis, Heaven Shall Burn and Sepultura.

The band's sophomore album, 2004’s “‘Endorsed By Hate’ ”, was a fantastic example of passion and anger. After its release the Nordhausen five-piece relentlessly played Europe’s festivals as well as toured with Cataract in late 2004 and Downset in early 2005. They didn’t take much of a break and kept playing shows and festivals such as Pressure, Fury, With Full Force, Dour, Groezrock or Summerbreeze Festival during the summer of 2005 while writing their new masterpiece “When Worlds Collide”.

In late October 2005 they finally took off to Denmark to record the new album with Jacob Hansen in his Hansen Studios (Mercenary, Fear My Thoughts). During the recording process their label mates Mercenary popped in to add some back-up vocals and keyboards while some of Roger Miret’s (Agnostic Front) unique shouting was captured spontaneously during the Persistance Tour. Right after the mix of “When Worlds Collide”, MAROON set out for a full European tour supporting death metal legends Obituary and Switzerland’s dark visionaries Samael. While the band was busy on the road, Paul A. Romano (Mastodon, Trivium) was taking care of the record's visual aspects to assure it had the right impact. Without a single doubt the album showcases some surprising moments when the melodic vocals of Mercenary’s Mikkel Sandager kick into the heavy, riff-driven “Annular Eclipse” or when MAROON close their album with the ultra-brutal and blasting “Below Existence”. No matter how much they gravitated towards some of the heaviest material of their still-young career, MAROON still kept their political awareness and involvement in an outspoken lifestyle - “This is the fight for the voiceless minority…” (24 HourHate). Welcome Annihilation… 

 

Your latest album ‘When Worlds Collide’ was released some months, so of course we’d like to ask you a couple of questions about this album!
Tom: Okay... Go on!

How did you launch into writing the material for ‘When Worlds Collide’ after your previous album, did ideas come easily so that you just had to write them down or was it more of a careful composing thing?
Tom: As we started writing the first new songs, we just started and things got rolling. I mean we wrote ‘24HourHate’ soon after ‘Endorsed By Hate’ was out, but after all there were some months that we didn’t write a single tune! So it was some kind of exiting! And automatically we came with something new! So, writing the new songs was the normal way, the way we always do it! But I think we all had in mind that we didn’t want to write a record like ‘Endorsed By Hate’ again, we all wanted something fresh and new, we wanted to try some new things!

Had all the songs already been written before you entered the studio, or have there been a lot of changes during the recording sessions?
Tom: Most of them were ready. But nonetheless we worked on most of the songs in the studio, because you have much more possibilities there than in the rehearsal room. And of course Jacob had some cool ideas for the songs. But most of the songs were written and sounded mostly the same as they sound now on the record. “The Omega Suite Pt. II” was mostly written in the studio, “And If I Lose” and “Welcome Annihilation” were completely written in the studio!

Did you have a certain idea of what you wanted to do on ‘When Worlds Collide’ any elements you definitely wanted to have on the album?
Tom: Diversity! We didn’t start writing the new songs with a certain idea in mind how they should sound. We all just knew that we wanted to do an interesting and varied album. There was one thing that we all agreed before writing the album: that we don’t want to make compromises this time! We just started new songs and just were all sure, that there are no borders. If some songs may sound different then former MAROON Songs but they feel good to us, then we’ll go on with this and everything is possible as long as all people in the band are happy with it! That was the thing we wanted to make sure on this album! Doing what we wanted to do, no matter what result we may achieve...

Who was responsible for writing the songs on the new album?
Tom: The whole band is always part of the songwriting. Mostly one guitarist comes with s riff or some idea and then we build a song around that all together!

This is your first record for Century Media Records, why did you sign with them and how did you get in contact with them?
Tom: Well, after the release of ‘Endorsed By Hate’ on Alveran Records we played a lot all over the world. So, many people saw us play and among those were also people from different record companies. After some time Leif from Century Media Records got in contact with us and told us, that his company was some kind of interested in our band. We were really happy, because we all grew up with companies like Century Media Records and a lot of the bands on there were kind of idols to us in the past! At this time we got a lot of very good offers from a lot of very good companies, so it was really hard for us to decide. We soon met Robert, Melanie and the rest of the Century Media Records staff and they were all very nice, but still we were not really sure what offer is the best. Our manager then started to negotiate with all the companies and it turned out that the Century Media Records contract was the best for us and we are more then happy with our decision!

You recorded this album in the Hansen Studios in Denmark, was this a conscious choice?
Tom: Of course! We recorded ‘Endorsed By Hate’ with Tue Madsen in Denmark. We really liked the way he worked, and we were happy with the sound, but we are a band who wants to try new things. So, we thought about going to Madsen again but soon we realized that we would rather try something new! And we heard a lot of good things about Hansen... and we wanted to go back to Denmark because it’s very quiet and nice there. Even “Master Of Puppets” producer Flemming Rassmussen was interested but didn’t have time, so we went to Hansen and he is the fucking best! We love what he has done!

How did the recording process proceed and how much time did you spend in the studio?
Tom: We were there for two weeks for recording and then again one week for mixing. We always go in the studio with all the songs completely ready, so we just record our songs there. This time we even wrote one song in the studio. It was really nice working with Jacob. A good friend of us, Karlo from the best German death metal band SUFFERING SOULS, helped us out in some of the pre- recording stuff and both, Jacob and Karlo came up with some good ideas for the whole record! So, we all were together in the studio, talking, recording, making fun!

The new album was produced by Jacob Hansen. Are you satisfied with the result of the new album?
Tom: Completely! It sounds great I think! Jacob is the best!

Did you have a larger budget for this album than for the previous albums and did this change the way you worked?
Tom: Yes we had a lot more money this time and yes it makes a very big difference! For ‘Endorsed By Hate’ we had to be really fast, because we didn’t have the money to take more time. Even for Tue this was not very satisfying. After all the record sounds good, but both, we and Tue are sure that with more time (which means more money) we could have done so much more. Now the recording process was much more relaxed, we could talk about certain problems much longer and discuss the sound and some arrangements more deeply because there was no pressure! On former recordings we always thought: we have to hurry! We just have money for one day left! Now we could even have spent more weeks if it would have been necessary! You could concentrate on your work without thinking about that stupid business shit! That makes working much easier!

Did you already received any feedback on the new album yet and what do you personally think about this album – are you satisfied with the outcome or would you liked to have changed anything in retrospective?
Tom: We mostly got very good to euphoric feedback. 99% of the reviews were just more than positive. And we also think that this is by way the strongest album we made so far. We all believe in the album and we all really love it and we are very happy that it went down so good! Of course, one week after you finished everything you’ll find the first little things you would do different now, but that is just normal. There is no perfect album! You can always go further! On some points in the studio we had 3 different opinions on certain things, but just one can be recorded, you know. So, there will never be a perfect album. I think you would come close to total satisfaction if you would record an album in 100 different versions ha ha...

Could you please describe the implications the title ‘When Worlds Collide’ has for you, what does it stand for and is there a special meaning behind it?
Tom: There are lots of worlds colliding around us everyday. And I think the record is very varied and so the title fits very well to the music on the album. The album is different than the albums before, so even for us as a band this is a now world, that somehow collides with the other world.

Who wrote the lyrics for this album and can you tell us something about them?
Tom: I wrote most of them and my brother Andre wrote the rest. We still talk about the same topics, like social problems and injustice. We still believe it is very important to show people the suffering animals have to deal with every single day! Veganism is still the important factor in our lyrics. Nothing really changed. Animals still get treated like non- living products, get tortured. Raped and slaughtered every second on this world. And I think it is very important to fight for the end of this madness! We have to learn to live together in peace, not only humans with humans but also humans with animals and nature! On the new record there are also other, darker or cryptic lyrics about occultism, human suffering or war! We think it is important to have something to say, to write lyrics people can think about! Look at all this charts shit with all the brainless nothing- to say- la la la- lyrics! That just not the real world! By no means on this world is everything perfect! Of course you can listen to our record or come to our shows just to have fun and a good time and to steal away from this cruel world for an hour, but we would be very proud if you would read something out of our lyrics for yourself and your life!


Do you have your favorites on When Worlds Collide’, songs that you think are somehow above the others?
Tom: No, I wouldn’t say so. There are some stronger songs for me from time to time, but this changes always, so I think you have to listen to the whole record to get the right feeling of it!

There are some guests on the album, how did you get in contact with the guys from Mercenary and Roger Miret? I personally think the song “Annular Eclipse” turned out to be a very good song.
Tom: Yes, his voice on the song is just awesome. It was very easy. We wanted Morten to do all our Keyboard stuff on the record and he just brought his brother Mikkel. We asked him if he would sing something for as and he did it. With Roger we wanted to work for a long time, because we know each other now for some years and it never happened and now we took him to the studio and he sang his part. It was all very easy. Also with Barney from NAPALM DEATH who sings on one of our bonus tracks for Japan! We asked him and he did it. All of those people were so very nice and helpful!

Ok, now some questions to enable our readers to get to know you a little bit better.

How do you feel about illegal downloading of music from the internet, many albums these days are already on the internet before they are officially released?

Tom: I hate it! Go and buy some good old vinyl or go and support the little bands that need the money! But I also have to say that the fucking record companies are more to blame because of their fucked up politics! They now get the punishment for years of selling crap, with crap design in crap packages for way too much money! I mean paying for shit like Britney Spears should be punished with no less then 10 years. But you are even more stupid if you download such crap. Everyone who gets caught by downloading shit like Nelly should get 10 years more because it was Nelly!

How did you get involved in the music business?
Tom: I don’t know. We somehow got there by accident.

What songs and bands do you listen to yourself these days?
Tom: MORRISSEY and THE SMITHS. Nothing else!

Is there still something you like to do besides Maroon, do you have jobs or something like that?
Tom: We do MAROON fulltime. But if we have some time of, there’s a lot of stuff to do like family or friends.

Is there anything you want to tell us after these questions?
Tom: It was a lot of questions ha ha! No, thank you for the interview. VIVA HATE!

Current line up:
Andre Moraweck - Vocals
Sebastian Grund - Guitar
Tom-Eric Moraweck - Bass
Nick Wachsmuth - Drums
Sebastian "Riechtor" Rieche - Guitar

Maroon Albums:

2006 - When Worlds Collide

2004 - Endorsed By Hate

2002 - Antagonist

2001 - The Key (split-CD with Self Conquest)

2001 - Split-single with Absidia

2000 - Captive In The Room Of The Conspirator MCD